customer service using social media

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Delivering Amazing Customer Service Using Social Media with Scott Ayres

Have you ever reached out to a brand via social media for a customer service request?

Odds are, that answer is yes!

Social media has become an easy way to connect with your favorite brands, ask questions, and seek help when you need it. However, that doesn’t mean all brands are handling their customer service requests effectively.

In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we talked all about delivery amazing customer service using social media. You’ll learn how to manage all the different platforms, how quickly you should be replying to inquiries, and so much more.

Let’s dive into the recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Delivering Amazing Customer Service Using Social Media with Scott Ayres

Our guest host this week was Scott Ayres. He’s part of the team over at AgoraPulse and he knows a thing or two about managing a social media presence. Scott shared some great tips with us that all brands can implement for handling customer service using social media.

Q1: How has social media impacted customer service?

There was a time when your only option was to call a brand on the phone and wait on hold until someone was able to serve you. These days, social media has changed the way we handle customer service requests as a brand. Here’s how:

As Scott pointed out, social media requires brands to deal with their customer service issues in the public eye. What was once handled privately, the world can now see.

He also said that it’s easier for complaints about a company to spread now. If a customer starts talking negatively about your brand, others may pick up on it and start sharing the message.

Social media has allowed brands and customers to connect with one another in real-time. Plus, it’s easier on the customer’s part since they no longer have to wait on hold or check their inboxes for a reply.

Iain feels social media allows brands to not only solve their customers’ problems, but they also get to show their human side.

As Lexie pointed out, customer service using social media has become a 24/7 job.

Just keep in mind that customers expect immediate responses to their concerns now!

While customer service matters were typically handled privately in the past (via phone calls), social media has allowed customers to have a voice. Their complaints can be shared for the entire world to hear.

Q2: How does customer service support on social media directly impact reputation management?

It’s become increasingly important for brands to be smart about how their managing their reputations online, especially with so many customer service requests rolling in. Here’s what you need to know to keep things going smoothly:

You have to be aware of what’s going on with your social media presence. As Scott said, one bad experience can spread. You need to do what you can to resolve issues as soon as possible.

Lexie brought up a great point about how everything is public now. Your audience can see the complaints you’re getting, as well as how you’re handling them. And how you respond to criticism says a lot about your brand.

As Maria pointed out, there’s no where to hide! Everything is on display for the world to see when it comes to social media. That’s why it’s so important, now more than ever, to handle customer service requests with care.

How you handle customer opinions and complaints says a lot about your brand. Kathryn had her opinion of a brand completely changed when they took the time to reach out to her. It shows that you care about your customers.

If you don’t take action fast, it can turn off your audience. The last thing you want is for them to spread even more complaints. Julia’s advice is to treat any issues with the highest priority.

Don’t lose your customers because you failed to address their issues on social media. Respond in a timely fashion and do so with kindness.

Make sure you’re actively listening for issues that you can address before they get too out of hand. Don’t wait for people to come to you. And don’t expect them to always tag you when they’re talking about your brand. Search your brand name to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

Q3: How can businesses use social media to support objectives and build/maintain customer relationships?

As a brand, how can social media allow you to build stronger relationships with your customers? These tips are great to keep in mind:

Scott knows that being human goes a long way. Your audience doesn’t really want to talk to a bot. Be yourself and be helpful as you resolve any issues they may have.

A little personality ensures the customer service will truly stand out.

When you spend time interacting with your audience, it’s almost like you become a friend of theirs. And you really can’t beat that!

You can also use surveys, polls, and Q&A sessions to learn more about your audience.

Don’t be afraid to just ask what their pain points are to determine where you can make improvements.

Cheval suggests joining Twitter chats because they’re a great way to get to know your audience better.

A positive customer service experience can lead to a long-lasting relationship, so treat every situation with care. Don’t risk losing your customers.

Social listening is a fantastic way to see what your audience is talking about and what they may think of your brand.

A happy customer is sure to spread the word about your brand. And you really can’t go wrong with that kind of word-of-mouth exposure.

Q4: How can a small business maintain a high level of customer service without outsourcing?

If you’re a small business, you might not have the funds to outsource customer service using social media. However, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed! Check out this advice from the chat to help you better manage it all:

Ideally, you want to designate someone to handle your social media presence. This way, you’ll always have someone ready to tackle anything that comes up.

If you can’t dedicate one single person to the task, you can always have employees take turns manning this role. Just be sure to provide some sort of guidelines so they understand how to respond while also staying on brand.

Lexie suggests using tools to make the job easier. There are plenty that can help you monitor mentions of your brand.

Sarah also suggests finding tools to help you out. Social media is much easier to manage this way.

Cass shared some great tips that are also worth implementing. You can add your customer service hours in your bio, which allows your audience to see when you’re online. Having alerts helps notify you when a message comes through. And keeping an updated FAQ page should help limit the amount of customer service requests you receive.

Varun’s advice is to prioritize one or two platforms and really direct your focus there. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself by being everywhere.

Just don’t forget to set up those alerts so you see any mention of your brand that gets posted!

Q5: How can small businesses keep up with all the social media platforms available today?

With so many platforms out there, how can we possibly stay updated with everyone? Here’s some advice that’ll help you out so you don’t get overwhelmed:

Scott says you don’t need to be everywhere. Spend time where your audience is and you’ll have the best results with your efforts.

Ben agrees that you should focus on the platforms that are relevant to your business. Then, you can concentrate on those to provide value to your audience.

Clones could certainly help! However, Gene knows it’s best to focus on just a few platforms. Eventually, you can expand to others when you have the resources to do so.

Cass agrees, saying you should focus on two or three platforms and then branch out later on when you have the ability.

Just because a new social media platform comes on the scene, it doesn’t mean you have to jump on it right away!

Sarah’s advice is to get some tools to help you manage it all. TweetDeck and Hootsuite can be life-savers for those working in social media.

Q6: How fast should companies be expected to respond on social media?

When handling customer service using social media, people expect quick responses. And that can be a little intimidating to brands, especially since they have other things to work on. Here’s how quickly you should aim to respond:

As Scott said, you really need to reply as fast as you can. Your customers don’t want to be kept waiting, nor do they want a canned response or a reply from a bot.

Lexie made a great point that it depends on the size of your brand. Larger brands will likely have more resources than a small business. However, no matter your brand’s size, you still need to reply promptly.

Cheval said it’s best to answer customer service requests within one day.

For Iain, he says responding within the hour is ideal. However, he recognizes that it all depends on the resources you have.

For major issues, Julia likes to respond within 15 minutes. For sales or new client inquiries, her goal is to get a same-day response.

Randy pointed out that response times can also vary by industry. Some really need to respond faster than others, especially services like an airline.

Whatever you do, don’t rush to send out a poor response. You need to reply in a timely fashion, but make sure you’re still addressing the issue at hand.

If there’s ever any delay in your response, kindly apologize to your customer and then provide any help they need.

Q7: What companies are crushing it with customer service on social media?

You can learn a lot from the brands that are already succeeding at customer service using social media. Check out these brands to see why they stand out:

Brands that stand out to Scott include Wendy’s, Nike, JetBlue.

Lexie has seen Starbucks, Fitbit, and other brands doing a great job with customer service using social media.

Buffer is definitely a great example!

Jade has had great experience with Apple, plus he was impressed with how KFC in England handled their own fiasco.

Canva shines when it comes to customer support.

Applebee’s, Buffer, and DiGiorno are just a few brands Julia thinks have done a great job.

Gene got a pretty impressive display when he complained about one company’s main competitor!

Eddie also mentioned that some of the best companies are the ones who have dedicated service handles on Twitter. This helps to keep your main feed free of clutter.

Q8: What tools do you use to monitor social media and handle customer service?

Luckily, there are some amazing tools to make all of this hard work easier. These are some great suggestions we received during Tuesday’s chat:

The team at AgoraPulse obviously uses their own tool, but they rely on Intercom as well.

Julia is a big fan of MeetEdgar, BuzzSumo, and TweetDeck.

TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and analytics are go-to tools for Sarah. However, she also said that email and phone calls are effective as well.

SproutSocial is a great one to check out.

Eddie relies on Hootsuite to get the job done.

Just like Eddie above, Cheval also likes to use Hootsuite to monitor social media conversations.

Would you like to join the next #ContentWritingChat? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and be sure to join us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!
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